Season 2 Episode 22: Minisode on Worker Safety & Well Being: The Connection Between Worker Safety and Victim Blaming
In this third installment of the multi-part minisode series on worker safety and well-being, Ruth and David explore the connection between worker safety and victim blaming. In a just over 15 minutes , David & Ruth discuss:
- How a lack of knowledge of how fathers' choices impact families and engagement skills with men hamper work with violent fathers
- How these gaps can be worse for fathers from communities where racism has led to the further vilification of men, as being dangerous, irresponsible, or irrelevant
- How this lack of knowledge, skills and confidence can lead to workers feeling unsafe about engaging fathers who have been violent, which leaves the worker to focus on survivors' choices as means to keep children safe
- Victim blaming results when the survivor doesn't act in accordance with agency wishes
In the second half of the minisode, David and Ruth outline some steps agencies can take including:
- Training workers to have the skills and confidence to assess the influence of all father’s choices on the family functioning- not just seeing the mum as the responsible for the functioning of the home.
- Training workers in the skills and confidence to engage fathers , even ones with histories of violence
- Prioritize whole- of- family work including incorporation in to reflective supervision
- Require regular conversations about worker emotional and physical safety in domestic violence cases as a regular, proactive part of supervision
- Create a culture where workers know that expressing safety worries is normal, and that they will be supported around strategies for safety, not judged for disclosing fears
- Ensure that domestic violence case are explicitly mentioned in any worker safety policy
About the worker safety and well-being minisode series
The goal of the series is to address the critical issues of worker safety and well-being as a critical aspect of domestic violence-informed systems. This is a series for frontline staff across child protection, mental health and addiction, courts and other systems. We hope it will validate their experiences. This is also a series for human resources managers and organizational leadership. Setting policies and procedures to address worker emotional & professional safety in the context of domestic violence cases is essential to creating a domestic violence-informed agency.
Topics in the series include:
- When workers are targeted by the perpetrator of one of the clients
- The connection between worker safety in engaging perpetrators and mother-blaming practice.
- When workers are being targeted by their own perpetrator (through the workplace and at home)
- When workers own experience of abuse are triggered by their work with families
- Managing your own fears, as the worker, about the safety of the family.